Life As An Artistic Expression

Image – Revelation by Alvin Ailey, American Dance Theater

“I used to think of myself as a tiny drop in the ocean of life. But have come to see I am not a drop in the ocean; I am an entire ocean in a drop.”

I sit here contemplating a human lifetime. One single embodied lifetime we are gifted with through our parents, the lineage that came before them, and the overall mystery of life.

What I have come to in this moment is that all is a matter of perspective – what lens we choose to see through. Whether we march to the tune of the cultural narrative around us, are controlled by our race, religion, family of origin or gender – or free ourselves to ride the wave of becoming, trusting that very unfolding in every single moment possible no matter the barriers in our way.

.Yesterday I learned of a major surgery one of our Wildly Free Elder community members was undergoing with possibility of a life changing outcome. Prior to the surgery she said “I lean into trusting what life has planned for this next adventure! A bit different to what I had in mind…”

And I take that to heart.

After just watching the PBS special on the life of Alvin Ailey, innovative choreographer and creator of a free form emotion packed dance and movement style birthing from the experience of being black in America, I am touched in a way that evades description. Incredibly fortunate to have witnessed an in person dance performance by this troupe in Berkley, California many years ago the physical and emotional impact has never quite left me.

I remember being absolutely spell bound by the passion, beauty, strength, power and feeling of the dancers on stage – not as single entities but as a co-creative improvisational community taking the choreography way beyond its original intentions. Bringing their full being to us without filters or fear of being fully seen.

Yet who are these dancers beyond the dance, and who was Alvin Ailey beyond the name and reputation. Who are we as artistic expressions of our own lives?

Feeling, sensing, breathing, moving….where you lose the sensation of being separate, instead part of an organism that has formed from the flow of energy, emotions, firing of neurons, and trust. A discipline of structure and form falling away in a single moment.

Bodies remember when you felt most free and connected to the energy of creation. To the pure joy, freedom, and sometimes pain, of simply being present.

What if our lives were captured on canvas? The essence of colors, textures, form, shapes that would emerge. The landscapes where we were lost or ill, creative and in alignment, grieving or confused, in love and passionately connected, letting go or hanging on, or alone and simply stuck. The landscape of being human.

One life time to not hold back or on, but to shatter the walls we have placed around ourselves for whatever reason. Knowing our choices will be the palette from which we paint or move. Knowing that this life is our artistic expression. It is never over, until it is.

I am. Now what?

“Many of us think that if we just have enough money, everything else will fall into place. We’ll be healthier, our relationships will be stronger, and we’ll have more time – just as long as that bank balance stays high.   

But true wealth is not about digits in your bank account.  Instead, it is all the special things in your life – particularly the things that money cannot buy. Think of how much everything you have would mean to somebody else who dreams of it – health, family, friendships – the list is endless.  
We wish you a life filled with true riches.”  

Filmed by Green Renaissance in Hermanus, South Africa.  
Featuring Obert Jongwe (@obertjongwe)

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Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 1/16/22. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder

Considering a move? Finding Home: Conscious Relocation Services by Gaye Abbott

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